As 2020 wraps up, we’re taking a look at the best apps that got us through the year. We’re not alone: Apple and Google have revealed lists of the best apps people used this year. Some of them may surprise you!
From meal photo-editing tools to social life-savers like Zoom, apps made this year much more convenient — even fun, at times. Tap here to check out the most popular Android apps you’ve never heard of.
That’s why we’re taking a moment to shout out the apps that best helped people get through the year. Are any of these on your home screen?
Best Apple apps of 2020
If you’ve got an iPhone, check to see if any of your favorite apps crack the top five. We’ve cut these up into two categories: the most popular apps you can pay for and those you can get for free. Check them out!
The best apps money can buy
Well, these are the best you can buy according to popular opinion. Apple found these apps were the most beloved buys:
There’s no easier way to remove unwanted items from your images, according to the Guardian. This app is all about perfecting your images, from removing a blemish on a selfie to making power lines in a landscape shot disappear.
For $1.99, you can use this easy app to take off anything you don’t want. One reviewer said TouchRetouch “does an exceptional job for a few bucks.”
2. Procreate Pocket
Artists love this high-quality drawing app. It has hundreds of varied pressure-sensitive brushes plus an advanced layer system. You’ll get an all-new interface designed exclusively for iPhone, vivid 64-bit color and over 50 customizable brush settings.
All you need is an image and a desire to draw — Procreate Pocket will make your vision a reality.
3. Dark Sky Weather
You’ll get down-to-the-minute weather forecasts with this app that Apple purchased earlier this year. “It’s like magic,” the App Store promises. You’ll get minute-by-minute predictions, complete with weather animations and advanced notification options.
Do you want to know exactly when it’s raining outside? How about custom notifications that cover the next 24 hours? You’ve got a ton of advanced features in this top weather app.
This app is a hugely popular portrait and selfie editor. Want whiter teeth? Want to clear up your skin and smooth away the wrinkles?
With FaceTune, you can give yourself an extreme makeover — all for $3.99.
Is your schedule so busy it’s practically on fire? Luckily, HotSchedules can help you manage everything on your plate.
It’s an easy way to communicate with your team and make sure everyone can see the team schedule. You can even put in time off requests or ask for more hours!
The best apps you don’t need to pay for
Have you heard this phrase? “If it’s free, it’s me!” That’s what Apple users had to say about these popular apps you can get for free.
1. ZOOM Cloud Meetings
You know what it’s like: Sometimes laggy, oftentimes awkward, with people interrupting each other and not sure where to look on the screen. Still, this video app has made working from home a reality. Team members can catch up with one another despite the distance between them.
It’s a great way to stay accountable, even when your Netflix screen starts its siren song. With ZOOM Cloud Meetings, workers around the nation are staying productive and keeping on track.
If there’s one app that’s defined social media for the past few years, it’s TikTok. Originally designed to share karaoke and dancing videos, the app has skyrocketed to success as a fun, short video platform beloved by Millenials and Generation Z.
If you’ve never used the popular app, check out our beginner’s guide on how to use it. Tap or click here for a complete breakdown.
Members of this popular streaming services are loving its new shows. From the new movie “Mulan” to the Star Wars series “The Mandalorian,” fans are taking their favorite videos wherever they go.
Plus, you can keep in contact with your friends and watch together through the GroupWatch feature.
Sure, TikTok is the hottest video app now — but it can’t throw off YouTube, one of the oldest and most beloved video platforms.
Sure, there are ads, but you’ll get hundreds of hours of free content. Its algorithm pushes you towards new content it thinks you’ll love. It also lets you livestream and listen to your favorite music.
Want to show your friends what you’re up to? You can share your life, follow your friends and keep in touch with your favorite celebrities through Instagram.
It’s hugely popular with younger generations for its simple interface and fun features.
All of these platforms have been great for helping people get through the hard times. However, you should keep this in mind: Apps are a two-way street.
While you’re benefitting from hours of fun, these platforms are also making big bucks by collecting your data. Tap or click here to find out what your favorite apps know about you.
Now, what if you don’t have an iPhone? What if you have an Android?
Luckily, we’ve found the very best apps for Android users. Check them out!
Best Android apps of 2020
Whether you pay for your apps or not, you’re sure to find a familiar face here. We’re giving you the lowdown on Google’s best apps in each category.
Check out these ten awesome apps. They’re the best, as picked by Google. If you’ve got any of these saved to your phone, they could make a good conversation starter during the holidays!
Top 5 apps to buy
According to Google, these Android apps are some of the best gems you’ll find in the play store.
1. Loóna: Bedtime Calm & Relax
Before you go to bed, do you instinctively grab your phone? Unfortunately, this is so common it hurts many Americans’ sleep schedules. After all, most apps aren’t designed to relax you — they’re designed to keep you invested and scrolling for hours.
Enter Loóna. This mood-altering app emotionally prepares you for bedtime. Unlike most sleep apps, it’s less focused on making you fall asleep than it is on helping you disconnect from the day’s stresses.
Loóna was also selected as the best app overall.
2. Grid Diary – Journal, Planner
Although you can download a free version, this app lets you purchase new features to boost productivity. It’s a simple yet effective personal growth tool.
Basically, you use it as your ultimate personal diary system. Check out some of its features:
- Unique grid format
- Professional writing guide library
- Day/week/month/year dimension
- Standalone mode that doesn’t share your private data
According to Google Play, “Grid Diary provides rich tools such as template library, prompt library, habit check-in, writing reminder, etc. to help you customize the journal method that best suits your needs.”
3. The Pattern
Want to take a deep dive into your personality? The Pattern will help you better understand yourself and others. It hopes to enable deeper connections to your loved ones.
It’s the most accurate and in-depth personality app, according to Google Play. You’ll get features like chat, custom profiles, a breakdown of your emotional cycles, and more.
4. Bazaart: Photo Editor & Graphic Design
This award-winning photo editing and graphic design app has a ton of features. According to Google Play, it can:
- Magically remove the background from photos
- Cut out photos artistically with the eraser tool
- Add thousands of amazing backgrounds and stickers
- Select photos, scale, rotate, position, duplicate and flip with simple touch gestures
You can also use a ton of other features to create your own art. A premium subscription removes the Bazaart watermark and gives you full access to its tools, library and IT support system.
5. Explorest — Photo Locations
Another app that offers purchases, Explorest, is perfect for your travels. Never again will you have to wonder where a beautiful photo was taken, according to Google Play. It gives you exact GPS coordinates to beautiful photo locations.
If you travel to California, Chicago, or Shanghai, you’ll be able to find the exact coordinates to recreate your favorite travel pictures. The app currently offers these specific directions for the most popular destinations, but it promises to offer more soon.
Right now, you can plan with real-time weather and plan your perfect shot with field tips and detailed photo specs. If you’re a photographer who wants to reshoot your favorite images, this is the perfect app for you!
Top 5 apps you can get for free
Now, check out the best apps you can get without spending a penny.
This minimalist app helps you stop, breathe and relax. According to Google Play, “Calmaria is often used by seamen and surfers to indicate that there are no waves in the ocean.”
It uses haptic feedback during the countdown to bedtime and uses vibrations to help you drift off to dreamland.
Zoom was also a favorite pick of Android users. With its high-quality features and necessity for people who work from home, its popularity is a no-brainer.
3. Whisk: Recipe Saver, Meal Planner & Grocery List
Have you ever found a great recipe online… only to lose it a while later? Now you can add it to Whisk, your new personal cookbook. This app lets you pull recipes from any website or cooking site. It also helps you change the way a recipe’s written, substitute ingredients or adjust serving sizes.
If you’re planning on cooking this holiday season, Whisk could be a huge time-saver!
4. Dolby On: Record Audio & Music
Are you a musician looking to record some audio? This app is the best option for saving your vocals, guitar or keyboard music. It makes use of both the microphones on your phone, creating high-quality audio that’s almost as good as music recorded in a studio.
It’s also got a ton of great features, like noise reduction and loudness editing tools.
5. Intellect: Create a Better You
Want to completely rehaul your habits and behaviors? This psychological training app was developed by a team of world-leading psychologists and behavioral experts. It gives you quick, easy sessions that help you work towards the ideal You.
Staying indoors has given us ample opportunity for self-improvement. Whether you use your apps for art, self-improvement, shopping or entertainment, smartphones can change our lives for the better. Tap here to stay safe when you’re signing into apps and websites.
So, did you see any of your favorite apps along this best of 2020 list? If so, now you know that you’re in good company!